- Area of Study Cell Biology, Molecular Biology & Genetics
Where are you from?
What extra-curricular activities are you involved in? On campus I am an Admissions Ambassador and a CAS Dean’s Host, so I give tours to prospective students and I speak at open houses to accepted students and their families respectively. I’m also involved in a mentor program called LIME (Laugh Inspire Motivate Encourage) where female BU students are partnered with high school girls to provide another support system throughout their high school years. I also volunteer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the GYN Oncology Unit and I work with the Osher Clinical Center where we’re beginning a Migraine Headache support group. Finally, I am the Fundraising Chair of Global Medical Brigades (GMB) at BU; GMB travels to Honduras twice a year to provide medical care to those who do not have access to it. Being part of GMB is my favorite activity, because it’s opened my eyes to so many issues in public health not only worldwide, but also in the United States.
What’s your favorite BU Biology memory?
It’s hard to pick just one memory from my biology career at BU, but if I had to pick just one thing, I would say getting involved in research at the Tolan Lab and similarly becoming interested in research while taking the Integrated Science Experience (ISE) I and II courses. Both of these experiences are research oriented, and research is something I never thought I would want to in college. But after taking ISE and watching the research process unfold before my eyes, I developed a new interest to my surprise, and I was lucky enough to be able to get involved on campus with Dr. Tolan!
What’s your favorite Biology course & why?
So far I’ve really enjoyed the integrated science lab course (ISE I and ISE II) that I took my freshman and sophomore years. I loved this class because in the lab we combined the chemistry and the biology lab to see how these two different sciences work hand and hand. For example, in the organic chemistry lab we synthesized various conformation of one molecule and then we tested the binding affinity of these molecules to a substrate in the biology lab. The goal of this class was to begin to look at and synthesizing molecules for potential drugs for Alzheimer’s Disease, which is so prevalent. It felt so amazing to be a part of creating new molecules that no one had really seen before.
How did you get your research position?
I emailed Dr. Tolan, because I was interested in the fatty liver disease research he does. This research is so prevalent, because many Americans and global citizens suffer from it, because there are so many detrimental ingredients in almost all the processed food we eat. So I contacted him last semester and soon I began working with him in the Readings in Biology course, which I really enjoyed as well. Throughout the semester, we would go over scientific articles that relate to his research, and by the end of the semester he asked me if I was still interested in research. I was, and so this semester I have begun to transition into his lab!
What kind of research do you do?
My current research proposal deals with the initiation and onset of fatty liver disease in the liver of genetically modified mice after they ingest fructose. The goal of this research is to see how quickly after these mice ingest the fructose will they begin to show symptoms of fatty liver disease. This type of question has not been readily explored, and thus will require lots of trouble shooting. As of now, we’re planning to complete this research by measuring specific variables that are common symptoms of fatty liver disease in a kinetics experiment to show their change over time.
What are your post-graduation plans?
My ultimate goal is to go to medical school, and I want to be a bilingual doctor to help bridge the language gap between healthcare providers and patients. I also want to help make sure healthcare is accessible to all, not just in the world, but also in America. I think sometimes we forget that some places don’t have access to the incredible medical care we have because we live in such a vibrant hub full of leading hospitals. I think there will be a gap year or two planned; maybe I’ll get a masters, do research or get a fellowship abroad. I do know that one day I want to make a difference by treating patients, and although there are some diseases and illnesses that cannot be cured, I want to help people through these tough times and do everything in my power to help people accept the things the cannot change.